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© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Location: Harvard Depository
Call No.: HOLLIS601658
Repository: Harvard Law School Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Harvard Law School. Superior Court of the Pow Wow
Title: Superior Court of the Pow Wow briefs
Quantity: 1 collection (13 boxes, 2 Paige boxes)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: Legal briefs and administrative records of the Superior Court of the Pow Wow, a Harvard Law School student organization, dating from its inception in 1870 to 1898. There are also a few records from 1934-1969.
The Superior Court of the Pow Wow was a student law club organized in 1870. As a Superior Court it consisted only of first-year students who participated in moot courts. During much of the nineteenth century, moot court exercises were an integral part of the Harvard Law School curriculum. The intention was to acquaint students with court room practice and to give them experience in the arguing of cases in a clinical setting. When interest in these school-sponsored moot courts began to wan in the 1870s, it was due in part to the rise in popularity of various law clubs, which held moot courts of their own. In the mid-1800s the prominent clubs were Coke, Kent, Bracton, Fleta, and Marshall. The Marshall Club was the oldest, having been founded in 1825. The clubs were made up of students elected from each class based on their social prominence and legal ability, and were often organized according to previous affiliation. For exampleThe Kent Club was made up of students who attended Yale. When it was first organized, members of the Pow Wow Club conducted these arguments among themselves, whereas, in later years one club argued against another.
- Series I: Loose briefs 1871-1898. 1871-1898.Folders are arrangedchronologically. They are described with the terms "Michaelmas Term"and "Hilary Term," which are part of the Britsh terminology fordescibing the legal year. The Michaelmas Term runs from October to December, and the Hilary Term runs January to April.
- Series II: Bound volumes 1870-1969. 1870-1969.Within each series and/or subseriesindividual items or folders are identified by box and folder number.For example, the number 5-12 corresponds to box 5, folder 12.
The bulk of this collection falls in the late 19th century, spanning the years 1870-1898. However, there are a few records from the 20th century, spanning the years 1934-1969. Documentation includes: administrative records; legal briefs of defendants and plaintiffs; case files; and reports of cases. There is also an index of the trials heard in the years 1871-1885. The index lists the case title, number, date, court and counsel.